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EAD  March 2012

EAD March 2012

Subject:

Re: dates wrapped in title field in box list

From:

Elizabeth H Dow <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 17:26:00 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (118 lines)

Very thorough answer; thank you, Cory.

Wiz

________________________________________
From: Encoded Archival Description List [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Cory Nimer [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2012 10:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: dates wrapped in title field in box list

While there is what you might call a growing consensus that <unitdate> should not be encoded within the <unittitle>, there is still disagreement within the community. This can be seen in comparing some of the different best practices documents, management tools, and content standards available. In the best practice guidelines listed on the EAD Help Pages:

Northwest Digital Archives -- Outside of <unittitle>
"To insure compliance with ISAD(G), do not nest <unitdate> inside <unittitle>." -- Online table

Online Archive of California -- Outside of <unittitle>
"The <unitdate> should be encoded outside of <unittitle>." -- p. 12

Library of Congress -- Either inside or outside of <unittitle>
"Following/within <unittitle> and before <unitid> in Collection Summary." -- Online table

RLG Best Practice Guidelines -- Either inside or outside of <unittitle>
"US repositories following APPM practice normally include <unitdate> as part of <unittitle>, whereas British and Canadian practice, following ISAD(G)v2 use <unitdate> at the same level as <unittitle>. Given the likelihood of further international standardization, separate title and date is preferred but both practices are permitted. Repeat <unitdate> if both inclusive and bulk dates are given. This element is considered an essential element for data exchange by ISAD(G)v2." -- p. 12

NCEAD Best Practice Guidelines -- Inside of <unittitle>
"Always place the date within a <unittitle>, as the date is part of the title of the unit as well as a date." -- p. 40

There is also some variety in date handling between the different community-developed archival management systems:

Archivists' Toolkit -- Outside of <unittitle>
ICA-AtoM -- Outside of <unittitle>
Archon -- Inside <unittitle>

In terms of content standards, because of DACS's foundations in ISAD(G) date is clearly a separate element from the title. While this might be an argument for not wrapping the <unitdate> in <unittitle>, the examples provided in the text include instances of both including <unitdate> in <unittitle> and keeping it separate. The understanding that <unitdate> should be wrapped in <unittitle> is reinforced, I think, by the long-term practice of including dates as part of the title in MARC, as established in APPM. All but one of the MARC examples in DACS are marked up in this fashion. However, it is worth noting that the MARC mapping provided in RDA no longer places dates of production of archival materials in the 245$f, but in the 260$c. In order to make this clearer in MARC, the 264 field was also recently approved to make the role of the date entry clearer.

Ultimately, this might be considered to be a legacy practice, but one that is still widely implemented. Perhaps this is something that the current EAD and DACS revisions will clarify for the community. In the meantime, I personally believe that the RLG Guidelines are correct that it is preferable to keep <unitdate> outside of <unittitle>.

Cory Nimer
Manuscripts Cataloger/Metadata Specialist
Brigham Young University
801-422-6091
________________________________________
From: Encoded Archival Description List [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Elizabeth H Dow [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2012 6:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: dates wrapped in title field in box list

Where to place <unitdate> raises the question of whether a date a is an integral part of a name/title, as it is in MARC, or if it's a separate data element on its own. About 12-15 years ago, the question was a point of disagreement between the US and UK EAD communities. Both are legal in EAD; has a general consensus appeared about which is the better way to look at dates?

   Wiz

Elizabeth H. Dow, PhD.
Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Louisiana State University

________________________________________
From: Encoded Archival Description List [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of MicheleR [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 7:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: dates wrapped in title field in box list

We do this all the time.  Instead of <date> though you'd want to use <unitdate>.
  The <date> element is just for any old date info, including embedded in
narrative text, whereas <unitdate> is specifically for the date(s) of the
archival unit being described -- see
http://www.loc.gov/ead/tglib/elements/unitdate.html .

So like this:

<unittitle><unitdate normal="1980/1985">1980-1985</unitdate></unittitle>

I have no idea whether it would cause problems, or what sort, in a database
(depends on how the database is set up, I guess?) but in terms of EAD it's
perfectly legal and logical.  It doesn't affect searching for us because we
index and search the EAD directly.

Michele

On 3/23/2012 5:42 PM, Ashley Knox wrote:
> What is the consensus on date fields being wrapped inside of title fields,
> especially when the title of a folder IS a date? (specifically in a container list)
>
> <unittitle> Bills and Receipts,
> <date normal="1850/1859" type="inclusive">1850-1859</date>
> </unittitle>
>
> or
>
> <unittitle>
> <date calendar="gregorian" normal="1980/1985" era="ce">1980-1985</date>
> </unittitle>
>
> All of this being related to the effect on searching in a database (built in a
> mysql database). I've been told that this will hinder searching and that it
> needs to change, that title and date need to separate into their own respective
> fields. I'm working in AT. Would I just not have folder titles, but dates instead?
>
> I would love to hear opinions on the pros and cons of mysql databases vs. xslt
> styling as well, if anyone would like to comment.
>
> Thanks for any and all comments!
>
> Ashley Knox
> Project Manager
> USC Digital Collections


--
***************************
America may be unique in being a country
  which has leapt from barbarism to decadence
without touching civilization.
-- John O'Hara
***************************


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